Butternut squash & apple soup

We got two butternut squash in our CSA box last Wednesday, and I’ve been eying several intriguing butternut squash recipes ever since… none of which I could find when I finally got down to it tonight. Instead, I ended up melding a recipe for apple butternut squash soup from about.com with the butternut squash & apple quinoa I made a couple weeks ago.

I admittedly lost faith in the soup early on, as the vegetable broth did not seem to meld well with the apples, and it took forever to peel the squash, which remained stubbornly firm throughout roasting and simmering… yet when I finally ventured a taste, the soup was absolutely delicious! For future reference, the squash does not need to be super tender before you mash it. If I had figured this out earlier, I’m sure the soup would have been ready in a reasonable amount of time. Microwaving for 10 minutes before roasting might help, and/or covering the squash for part of the roasting time might also help. All in all, a hearty, delicious soup almost worth the trouble.

***

UPDATE (3/1/11): I used green apples this time, and no broth, and I liked it even better! I also pre-cooked the squash first in the microwave in bigger pieces with the skin still on (about 8 minutes, covered) and then roasted it, then put it through the ricer. Was certainly quicker than before, but still much too much work, and way too many dishes! Especially for three bowls of soup that, I should point out, certainly do not make a meal on their own. We had it with mac and cheese today. I think next time I might try peeling off the skin after microwaving, and possibly roasting it in the same bowl as I use in the microwave, then mashing at the end with the apple, more like I did last time.

Butternut squash soup

1 butternut squash

Oil

Several splashes apple cider vinegar

Generous sprinkles cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and chili powder

Salt and pepper

1/2 tsp. coriander

Chopped leek

2 apples, chopped

1 cup vegetable broth

2 cups water

Roasted pecans for garnish

Preheat oven to 400ºF. Peel and chop butternut squash. Place in roasting pan and mix with a little oil, a few splashes of apple cider vinegar, and a few sprinkles of the seasonings. Roast for 30 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes and splashing with a bit more vinegar as necessary. Meanwhile, chop up leek and apples, then sauté leek in a tablespoon of oil at the bottom of a large soup pot. Add seasonings and apples and cook for another minute or two, then add 1 cup of vegetable broth and 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, until the squash is ready. Add the roasted squash, then simmer another 20 minutes or so. Remove from heat, mash with a potato masher (or a blender if you want to be high tech), and serve! Pecans (especially the sweet & spicy ones from Trader Joe’s) made for a lovely garnish, but I’ve also seen pumpkin seeds recommended, and roasted butternut squash seeds would certainly be fitting as well… hope to try it out some time!

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